This poem is dedicated to Joe "Highrock" Giove, having discovered the autumnal beauty
of the Maryland woods that had been waiting for him patiently for almost three decades.

"In wildness is the preservation of the world."
Henry David Thoreau


by Wendell Berry

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.